Former U.S. Army Sgt. Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl is in the news again with a lawsuit he has filed against former President Trump and the late Senator John McCain, accusing them of exerting undue influence in his court-martial that took place in 2017.
Bergdahl was accused of abandoning his post and deserting in Afghanistan in 2009. He was charged with endangering the lives of his fellow soldiers. Now, he has filed a civil lawsuit in an attempt to overturn his court-martial conviction.
The disgraced Army sergeant filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Both Trump and McCain are accused of “unlawful command influence” in the lawsuit. Trump’s alleged conduct was also referred to as “scandalous meddling.”
Also included in the filing is a fact that seems to have little to do with Bergdahl’s court-martial. He is claiming that a military judge handling his case did not disclose that Bergdahl had applied for a lucrative job at the U.S. Justice Department.
Bergdahl’s efforts to appeal his case have previously been fruitless. His conviction was narrowly upheld in August of 2020 by the U.S. military’s top appeals court. At the time, the court rejected his arguments that comments by both Trump and McCain should have negated his prosecution according to Military.com.
It should be noted that Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior in 2017. At his sentencing hearing, Bergdahl evidently requested a dishonorable discharge. He received a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank to the grade of private, and had to give up $1,000 of his salary per month for ten months. But Bergdahl served no prison time for his reprehensible behavior. He could have gotten life in prison for the charges he pleaded guilty to but instead, apparently, got a slap on the wrist.
Judge Ohlson stated that Bergdahl was given the opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea, but had declined to do so.
“Indeed, it is telling that at his sentencing hearing after his guilty plea, and fully aware of his own case in mitigation, Appellant specifically recognized that he was deserving of punishment and asked to have a dishonorable discharge imposed upon him,” Ohlson wrote in delivering the opinion of the court.
Trump was no fan of Bergdahl’s. Before he became president, he labeled Bergdahl “a dirty, rotten traitor.” The former president repeated his low opinion of Bergdahl after he took office as well.
McCain also allegedly demanded a hearing via the Senate Armed Services Committee if Bergdahl wasn’t court-martialed for his actions. McCain passed away from a brain tumor in 2018, but that hasn’t stopped Bergdahl from suing him.
“Based on Appellant’s own words, no impartial observer would conclude that it was the comments made by the President of the United States and/or by the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee that caused Appellant to plead guilty; rather, it was the strength of the Government’s evidence that caused him to take that step,” the judge wrote last year.
This all goes back to June 2009 when Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after simply walking away from his post. He was held prisoner for almost five years and then was given up when former President Obama authorized a deal that exchanged five Taliban members being detained for him. Those five terrorists were released from Gitmo to save an alleged deserter.
Obama welcomed Bergdahl and his parents with open arms at the White House in 2014. America did not share his enthusiasm, especially as details of Bergdahl’s actions came to light.
Bergdahl’s last-ditch efforts to overturn his conviction were met with intense blowback on social media.
Andrew Donaldson, a veteran, tweeted: “Bowe Bergdahl can go all the way directly to hell.”
Bowe Bergdahl can go all the way directly to hell https://t.co/3NBDEm4dFH
— Andrew Donaldson (@four4thefire) February 18, 2021
AlwaysTrump bluntly tweeted: “Bowe Bergdahl deserves the maximum treason penalty.”
Ben Huff succinctly spoke his opinion: “This is just your friendly reminder that Bowe Bergdahl is still scum of the Earth.”
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